Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cooking Without Power-Canned Meats

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The emergency preparedness goal for May is to be able to cook without power.  There are many different types of stoves to choose from that use fuel to cook with, but have you thought of how much fuel that would take every day to cook food for your family?  I attended a canning class this week and learned so much more about the world of canning.  

Jars of canned meat.  Chicken, ground beef, and London broil.
Afton Baxer taught the class, held at Honeyville Grain, and she focused the class on canning meats.  Knowing how to can your own meat will free up your freezer, and allow you to have dinner on the table in minutes!  When chicken goes on sale I will purchase large quantities and freeze it all.  But what would happen to my precious meat storage if the electricity went out?  If you had canned all of the meat it would be shelf-stable and safe in your storage.  I have tried canning chicken and it went so smoothly and easily!  I love the convenience of opening a jar of chicken that is ready to go for multiple recipes!! Chicken isn't the only meat that works for canning:  roast, bacon, London broil, fish, etc.  You name it and it can probably be canned!

Presto Canner
Canning meat is not complicated at all, it just takes some time.  You will need a canner (not at pressure cooker), mason jars, lids, and meat.  To can chicken you trim the fat, pack into the jars (not to tightly), wipe the rims, place the lids on and stack in your canner. No need to add any liquid to the jars!  The chicken will make it's own juice and you'll end up with delicious broth!  If you have a larger canner make sure to place a can rack in between the layers of jars.  I live above 5000 feet so I would get my canner to 13lbs of pressure for 75 minutes pints and 90 minutes for quarts.  Please read the instructions that came with your canner for the correct times and pressure for your canner!!  And DO NOT leave your canner when it is on the stove.  You have to monitor the pressure gage to make sure it doesn't go to high!

{Afton Baxter will be teaching a series of canning classes at Honeyville Grain on June 14, 21 & 28th.  To attend you will need to pay $25 for food samples and materials.  She is amazing and knows ALL about canning, so bring your questions!  I will be going if anyone would like a ride!}

All-American Canner
I own a Presto canner, which you can find for around $80 on, but I would love to own the All-American canner someday.  The All-American canner doesn't have a rubber gasket in the lid and so it won't ever need a replacement part, but they are definitely more expensive to own.  If you find a canner at a garage sale or second hand store snatch it up quick!  You can visit your cities extension services to have the gauge checked.

Salt Lake Extension Services
2100 S. State

Now I have a tip that I feel will change the world of canning.  I don't know why more people don't know this but did you know YOU CAN REUSE YOUR CANNING LIDS OVER AND OVER AGAIN!!!  As long as the rubber ring is in tact and the metal parts of the lid aren't dented you can reuse them!  All these years the canning companies have had us buying new lids!!!  So give it a try next time you are canning and save yourself some money!!

Another great idea that I learned is that you can can bacon!!  Cut your bacon into thirds and roll in strips of parchment paper and fit into the jar.  Process in the canner and now you have shelf-stable bacon!  To crisp it up when you open the jar just warm it in a frying pan.  Who knew?  Click HERE to see a great pictorial lesson on canning bacon. They use brown paper, but you could also use parchment paper.  Or click HERE to see how to can bacon after cutting it into pieces.

If you are interested in canning ground beef then CLICK HERE for more information.  I don't eat ground beef so I don't can it :)

Check out the rest of the May goals HERE!  

Enjoy the journey!
Enjoy the blessings!
Feel the peace! 


  1. Do you cook the meat first? Or can it raw, and the canner cooks it?

    1. I can it raw. This way it's only cooked the one time in the canner. The canner does all the cooking. Some people cook it first but that dries it out. Using raw meat is easier because you can just stuff the raw meat in the jar and can it:) and you don't add anything to it but a pinch of salt. It makes its own broth while cooking in the canner.


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